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Graphic Help For Reluctant Readers (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2007)

…Ever heard of graphic novels? If you’re thinking of 400 page pocket books with embossed covers of buxom maidens, you’ve got the wrong idea. I’m talking about a different kind of graphic!

The Church and Media: Common Concerns (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2007)

…For The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the effects of media on the family are front-page news. In their September 2004 issue of The Ensign, the official publication of this U.S. based sect, their president, Gordon B. Hinckley, opens his prominently placed Page 3 column by stating his…

Understanding the Risks of Wireless Internet in your Home (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2007)

…Over the past few years, one particular technology has quickly moved into homes at an amazingly rapid pace. Wireless Internet routers—a small box that can easily distribute your home Internet service anywhere in the house—have become a common addition to any Internet savvy family.

Some Secrets Hollywood Shouldn’t Keep (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2007)

…Usually, the great entertainment machine is unable to keep a secret about anything – especially if it has to do with someone’s sexual morals.

Give Your Kids a Chance to Create! (The Big Picture, Last Update Mar 2007)

…I spend a great deal of time writing about the problems of media. Study after study linking the affects of violence, quantity of television, and violent sexual content of popular music with real life behaviors have been reported through my keyboard.

The “Vast Wasteland” Continues (The Big Picture, Last Update Mar 2007)

…A few days ago I presented a keynote address for an educational group that specializes in media and its affects on children. I assumed many in the room would be familiar with what is often referred to as the "Vast Wasteland" speech given by Newton N. Minow, President Kennedy’s newly…

The Latest Skinny on Body Images (The Big Picture, Last Update Feb 2007)

…Helping your children maintain a healthy diet is always tricky, especially considering the multitude of media advice and subtle messages both you and your kids are exposed to. Turn on a morning show one day, and you’ll see a guest talking about fighting teenage obesity. Flip the channel and you’ll…

Changes in Movie Ratings Part 1—Why Independent Producers Want Change (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2007)

…With the recent media coverage regarding television ratings, few have taken notice of the other major media rating system that is being modified. The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) movie rating system is about to be affected by subtle changes that I feel could spell big differences in the…

Changes in Movie Ratings Part 2—More NC-17 Movies Coming to a Theater Near You (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2007)

…For years, independent producers (and foreign filmmakers) have claimed their movies receive stricter ratings than movies coming from the big six studios that contain similar content. One filmmaker who decided to make a strong statement about this inequality is Kirby Dick. His recent documentary, This Film Is Not Yet Rated,…

TV Violence—When Push Comes to Shoot… (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2007)

…By now I’m sure you, the thousands of parents who come to the Parents Television Council website, have read the report or at least the summary on the dramatic increase in television violence. And I’m sure you’re not surprised. But before you think there’s nothing you can do to turn…

R.I.P. for the Chip? (The Big Picture, Last Update Dec 2006)

…Heralded by many as a parent’s solution to controlling television content, the V-chip was described as "ineffective" by FCC officials in early December 2006. While others have criticized the device’s lack of use by the very people it was built to serve, having the chief regulatory body over broadcasting deem…

Video Games - A Quick Guide to the Latest Systems (The Big Picture, Last Update Dec 2006)

…Video games are always a hot commodity at Christmas, and this year it seems the manufacturers have whipped up an unprecedented frenzy. As I’ve spoken with parents, I detect they are more confused than ever about what systems are most suitable for their family, and which will hold the greatest…

Video Games—A Few Fast Picks (The Big Picture, Last Update Dec 2006)

…When people complain that they have a difficult time finding movies or television programs suitable for their kids, I usually respond, "Wait ‘till you look for a video game!"

Why TV and Dinner Should Be Forever Separate (The Big Picture, Last Update Nov 2006)

…Parents are always searching for "cures" for our kids, aren’t we? A cure for bad grades, bad friends, or perhaps even more serious issues like involvement in drugs.

Cocaine: Snort It, Guzzle It, Promote It (The Big Picture, Last Update Nov 2006)

…Use of illegal and "recreational" drugs is truly becoming an epidemic that has reached crisis proportions. We’ve spent millions of tax dollars attempting to educate North American societies about the consequences of using these substances, and then in a moment, all of that proactive training is undone by a celebrity’s…

Phil Vischer—Moving Into “Mid-Life” (The Big Picture, Last Update Oct 2006)

…The "Father of VeggieTales" filled us in on his beginnings and why he chose to start creating animated singing and dancing vegetables in a conversation started in the first half of this column. (Missed it? Then have a click and get filled in… [ publications/rgcolumns/2006/1019.asp])

Phil Vischer—The Father of VeggieTales (The Big Picture, Last Update Oct 2006)

…Many of us have had a "bad day" at work. But imagine working for yourself for over a decade, building up an internationally recognized product, and then losing it over some legal issues that are later deemed to not be your fault. I don’t know about you, but by that…

Food for Thought—Eating and Television (The Big Picture, Last Update Oct 2006)

…Thankfully the TV dinner is disappearing—at least in the area of the world where I live. I have mixed memories about sitting with the little tin foil tray balanced on my knee while watching The Beverly Hillbillies. I say mixed because it was fun being entertained during dinner,…

Jackass: The Movie? Or the MPAA? (The Big Picture, Last Update Sep 2006)

…Please forgive the questionable title on this column, but it certainly is a question that begs to be answered after checking out the content in Jackass: Number Two, a "movie" (better described as an obscene circus act) that has left many—including hardened liberals—wondering just what does…

Spinach and Media—Deadly? (The Big Picture, Last Update Sep 2006)

…Last week saw the unfolding of two apparently unrelated tragedies. First we learned of toxic spinach that had been tainted by E. coli. It appears that somewhere, somehow, the animal fertilizer used to help spinach grow had come in contact with the leaves and made its way into the product’s…

Races Divided For Fall (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2006)

…Considering the efforts being put forth by public schools and other thoughtful groups to encourage children to overlook racial prejudices and visible differences, our media moguls are persisting on offering reminders as to why we should continue judging people based on their skin color.

We Should Remember Steve Irwin’s Life—Not His Death (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2006)

…For many adults and children, the news of Steve Irwin’s death (best known as The Crocodile Hunter) was a shocking reminder that no matter how famous we are, we can’t cheat what will be the inevitable ending to all of our mortal lives.

Parents Are More Concerned about Media Than Peers (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2006)

…We’ve long ago heard the old adage about the importance of picking good friends, but it seems most parents are far more concerned about picking good media, according to a recent study completed by a Brigham Young University professor.

Is the MPAA Giving In on CLERKS 2? (The Big Picture, Last Update Jul 2006)

…A friend of mine who has been reviewing movies from a traditional artistic viewpoint for decades pulled me aside at a screening a couple of weeks ago.

A Serving of Research Leftovers (The Big Picture, Last Update Jul 2006)

…In the process of looking for new topics about media and how it affects families, I often come across little tidbits of information that aren’t quite enough to fill up a complete page, but are still interesting for parents to know about. So this week, I’m serving up some "leftover"…

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